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Pro bono for veterans – finding a measure of justice

To Serve Those Who Have Served

Lawyers Help Veterans Achieve Peace Of Mind

This Veteran’s Day, we are delighted to bring you a special guest blog post about a special Justice Bus trip.  This piece was first posted on Fenwick & West’s Pro Bono blog and is posted again here with their permission.

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By: Amir Hassanabadi, Associate, Fenwick & West, and Justice Bus Rider

Amir Hassanabadi Pro Bono for VeteransA veteran, by definition, is someone who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.  Plans for what comes after a soldier falls find welcome pause in the ordinary demands of life.  But even an ordinary life must end someday.  It must be a shock, then, for some veterans who sacrificed, served and survived for their country, to find themselves too poor to plan for a dignified end.  Where is the justice in that?

The Justice Bus, carrying a squad of volunteer lawyers, wound itself through the foggy hills of San Francisco, past the Golden Gate Bridge and through the hills of the Northern Bay Area towards its final destination in Ukiah, Mendocino County.  Travelling through the town with fellow and former colleagues from Cisco and LinkedIn, we took note that the town was small but tight-knit – a homecoming parade marched through the streets with thunderous marching bands and Instagraming teens in tow.

Volunteers on the Justice Bus

Fenwick, Cisco, and LinkedIn volunteers ride the Justice Bus to rural Ukiah, California.

Disembarking the bus, we were greeted by a cozy Veterans Memorial Building, replete with American flags and welcoming faces.  The staff at OneJustice – a legal services organization dedicated to increasing access to justice in rural and isolated communities – had organized the event well: food and full canteens awaited us.  They trained us, coached us and thanked us.  The veterans who we were tasked with helping had already been screened and informed of the process.  It was orderly and disciplined – soldier-like.

Meeting the veterans provided a stark reminder of the challenges they continue to face long after their war draws to a close.  We met poor veterans.  Cancer survivors.  Those without family and those who had lost them.  Without many resources, these veterans were having a difficult time planning their wills and outlining their end-of-life care.  They worried that they would leave their loved ones with misery instead of security.  To put it simply, they did not have peace of mind.

In teams of two, the Justice Bus volunteers helped bring comfort to these veterans.  Attorneys walked veterans through form wills, personalizing and improvising as they went along.  Veterans had land to be partitioned and pets to be taken care of.  Similarly, attorneys helped veterans make the hard choices with regards to end-of-life care.

Fenwick Justice Bus Volunteer Marion Miller

Fenwick Justice Bus Volunteer Marion Miller

One would think this would be a somber process, but it was just the opposite.  One veteran recommended an amazing museum in the Presidio dedicated to conscientious objectors.  Another told us one of the dirtiest jokes I had heard in a while (not to be repeated here).  These were kind folks who were happy to be interacting with us and getting the help they deserved.

We served 24 veterans that day, but our impact was greater and went deeper than that.  By serving these veterans, we impacted the lives of their families.  We honored their service and their legacy.  And we made sure that the poorest in our communities can leave this world with security and dignity.  Hopefully we found a small measure of justice in that.

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The Fenwick & West Justice Bus volunteer team included Priscila Bastazin, Amir Hassanabadi, Greg Hopewell, Nam Kim,Goutham Kondapalli, Liza Kostinskaya, Helen Li, Marion Miller, and Robin Reasoner.

Amir Hassanabadi, a UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) alum, is an associate in the Corporate practice group at Fenwick & West LLP.  He focuses his practice on a variety of corporate matters to support clients in the high technology and life sciences industries.  A champion of pro bono at the firm, Amir donates his time to Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, leading workshops on business law basics and providing limited-scope representation to low-income small business owners and entrepreneurs who serve underserved communities.  He also shares his expertise with pro bono clients such as Shabeh Jomeh (a Persian networking and charitable group) and Pacific Community Ventures (a nonprofit that creates economic opportunity in low-income communities).  Amir speaks Persian/Farsi and is an avid member of the Fenwick bocce ball team.  Follow Amir on Twitter (@amir__abadi) and on LinkedIn.


Original Article posted on Fenwick & West LLP’s Pro Bono Blog on 10/23/14; reposted here with the permission of Fenwick & West and Amir Hassanabadi.

Chick and Poppy on Veterans Day. Whom will you honor?

Veterans Fund Banner

I give in honor of Chick and Poppy.  Whom will you honor on Tuesday?

Every Veteran’s Day, I give thanks for two very special men in my life:  Charles (Chick) Henson II and Walter Willard Travis (Poppy). 

You see, both of my grandfathers fought in World War II. 

I actually never met “Chick,” as he died from ALS long before I was born, but his passion for learning and fierce dedication to family have been passed on.  And I adored my “Poppy” with his deep love of nature, literature, and all of us grandkids.

I’m super proud of their service to our country – and the sacrifices that my grandmothers made to support them.

Every year on Veterans’s Day, I am proud to make a personal contribution, in their honor, to OneJustice’s Veterans Legal Aid Fund.  I love it that their names are on OneJustice’s Wall of Honor as a result.

And every time I hear about a veteran who receives free legal help because of the Justice Bus Project, it makes me think of Chick and Poppy.  I think they would be proud.

Let’s all take a moment  tomorrow to give thanks for all those who have served our country. 

And, I hope you’ll join me in honoring a veteran or service member who is special to you by making a contribution in their honor to the Veterans Legal Aid Fund.

With such gratitude for your support,

Donate Now - Thank You

Julia R. Wilson, Executive Director 


Virtual pro bono: from theory to reality

We’ve been talking about virtual pro bono for years

It’s time to move from theory to reality!

Jenna Finkle, Pro Bono Justice Program Associate at OneJustice

Jenna Finkle, Pro Bono Justice Program Associate at OneJustice

Last month over 125 people gathered at the two Regional Pro Bono Meetings to discuss hot topics in pro bono in California and plan for continuing to expand pro bono services throughout the state.  Thank you to everyone who participated in these great conversations in Los Angeles (October 2nd) and San Francisco (October 28th)!

Both of the meetings had sessions that continued our community’s discussion about how to more strategically use technology to connect Californians facing pressing legal problems with pro bono resources in the private sector.  Thank you to the Pro Bono Project’s Virtual Legal Services Program for appearing – virtually – at both meetings to share their successful model.  This model is highly replicable – and we’re excited about the opportunities that exist to move this topic forward in a big way over the coming year.

Today’s guest blogger, our very own Jenna Finkle, reflects both on her work coordinating the Regional Meetings and her participation in our own virtual pro bono clinic earlier this year.  Thanks Jenna!

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Guest Blogger: Jenna Finkle, Pro Bono Justice Program Associate

NorCal Pro Bono Regional Meeting

Over 80 participants attended the Northern California Pro Bono Meeting – we almost couldn’t fit them into one photo!

As OneJustice’s Pro Bono Justice Program Associate, I help coordinate and administer OneJustice’s support work and pro bono convenings throughout California. During the two regional Pro Bono Meetings in October, I had the opportunity to meet in person many of the pro bono stakeholders I have been communicating with via email, phone, and webinar from my office in San Francisco.

Both of these daylong conferences included a robust discussion about how to make pro bono virtual by connecting three essential ingredients through video and online chat: the clients, the volunteers, and the legal services experts to supervise.

Virtual Pro Bono Session

Cameron Day of the Pro Bono Project of Silicon Valley appeared virtually at the Southern California Pro Bono Meeting to demo their virtual pro bono services.

Watching these two groups dig into the idea of virtual pro bono during the sessions, I immediately thought about my experience working on OneJustice’s first virtual clinic in April, 2014. The Justice Bus Project brought 15 University of San Francisco School of  Law students to a DACA clinic in Humboldt in March, 2013. Due to limited resources in 2014, the Justice Bus Project was unable to return to Humboldt County to provide desperately needed immigration services. However, students from Humboldt State’s student group, F.R.E.E. (Find Resources and Empowerment through Education), reached out to OneJustice and prompted our partnership and coordination of our first ever virtual clinic to help immigrants in Humboldt County gain access to free DACA and immigration assistance.

The dedication of this student group astounded me. They were already a group seen in their community as an organizing node and resource. Their advocacy helped provide free legal services that were desperately needed. In preparation for this clinic, they coordinated DACA information sessions and found a space for the clinic, and F.R.E.E. members served as interpreters and doubled as technological navigators for clients during their appointments. They were ultimately able to successfully bring DACA & immigration assistance to 15 members of their community.

Ann, clinic volunteer at the April 2014 virtual clinic.

Volunteers in San Francisco connected virtually with immigrant youth in Humboldt County during the April 2014 virtual pro bono clinic.

These community members were served by seven University of San Francisco School of Law students working under the expert supervision of attorneys from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. These students came into USF’s library on a Saturday, despite schoolwork, jobs, and their many other obligations, to provide much-needed services to folks up in Humboldt. The enthusiasm OneJustice saw from our community partners, volunteers, and clients clearly demonstrated the importance of bringing desperately needed legal services to rural and isolated communities.

In my 10 months at OneJustice, I have seen amazing collaborations across geographic areas and services, from community organizers to law schools to pro bono legal service providers. The folks present at the SoCal and NorCal Regional Meetings are key players in the many statewide efforts to build connections and provide services to help low-income, under-served Californians navigate a complex legal system. I was inspired at the Regional Meetings to see stakeholders’ dedication to create innovative ways to use technology to increase access to free legal assistance in rural areas.

I am excited that there will be new virtual pro bono pilot projects in the next year, and I look forward to bringing stakeholders back together to share best practices development and new ideas at the 2015 Pro Bono Conference, to be held in the fall of 2015 in Los Angeles.

Mark your calendars now for the California Pro Bono Conference – Fall 2015 (more details to come soon).  Our big dream?  That next year’s conversation will include a TON of new virtual pro bono pilots developed over the next 12 months!

Double, double, toil and trouble

A Halloween of historical figures . . . and a bear

Which OneJustice staffer swept the 2014 costume contest?

Ok, so we didn’t actually have any witches at the OneJustice staff Halloween parties this year.  But we did have lots of creative costumes, including some historical figures, animals, fictional movie characters, a boxer, a burglar, static cling, and . . . a bear.

And for the winners of this year’s costume contest, we bring you (drum roll please  . . . )

  • First place in San Francisco: Amelia Earhart (aka Lauren Roberts, Staff Attorney for the Rural Justice Collaborative)
  • First place in Los Angeles: the unicorn (aka Kelsey Williams, IMPACT LA Project Fellow)
  • Second place: Yoko and John Lennon (aka Arbour Decker, Donor & Corporate Relations Manager and Ruby Kimberly, Justice Bus Program Associate)
  • Third place: Bear (otherwise known as Mike Winn, Senior Staff Attorney)

Check out the photo montage for more spooks (and laughs).  Wishing you the most spooktacular and fanta-boo-lous Halloween ever!

He didn’t want to miss the bus

Meet Joe Casey – Justice Bus Rider extraordinaire

He’s traveled over 800 miles to reach those in need.

Joe at a 2013 Justice Bus clinic.

We would never leave you off the bus, Joe!

No doubt about it – we think all of our Justice Bus Riders are pretty darn special.  All 1,312 of them!

They travel hundreds of miles to bring life-changing legal help to rural communities.  They give so generously of their time, energy, and skills to help poor Californians facing terrible legal problems.  They are the solution to the lack of legal assistance for hundreds of veterans, children, families, and seniors each year.

As a result, we have a special place in our hearts for these volunteers – we call them our “Justice Bus Riders.”  We think they are justice super heroes.

So we’ve decided that we will feature some extraordinary Justice Bus Riders here on the blog – so you can also get to know them.  We’re starting with a true Justice Bus hero – Joe Casey.    Joe, who will be starting this fall as a new associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, has been on SIX justice bus trips – all during his three years as a student at Stanford Law School.  He went on four trips with Stanford and two trips with law firms during his summers.  He has traveled over 800 miles on these trips to reach communities like Watsonville, Modesto, and Gilroy.

We sat down with Joe recently to ask him some questions about being a Justice Bus Rider extraordinaire.

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Joe, tell us about one of the clients you were able to help during your Justice Bus Trips?

Joe on the Justice Bus (on his way to assist rural seniors in 2012).

Helping a retiree prepare his will was a very satisfying experience. He was preparing for surgery and was visibly relieved to get his affairs in order. He was extremely appreciative for the assistance, and I was very thankful that OneJustice made the trip possible.

What’s the strangest or funniest thing you have witnessed on a Justice Bus Trip?

Sometimes, eager students can almost be a bit too earnest. For example, certain immigration forms require asking applicants questions like whether or not they have ever been “habitual drunkards.” I remember one client looking a student in the eye and asking whether or not having a few drinks a week makes him a “habitual drunkard.” Other questions on the immigration form relate to willingness to bear arms on behalf of the United States and affiliation with the Communist Party. I couldn’t find a single client who could answer these questions without breaking into laughter.

What motivates you to do pro bono work and why do you volunteer with the Justice Bus Project?
Mike Winn Hero Cartoon_2014

Our amateur rendering of Mike Winn as a rural justice super hero!

There is a serious justice gap in California. While Silicon Valley is very prosperous and has a glut of legal services, lawyers are hard to come by across large swaths of our state. The gross disparity in legal resources as seen through the lens of geography convinced me that the Justice Bus is an effective means of ensuring that people who don’t live near thriving economic and legal centers can also receive the legal aid they need.

What fictional social justice hero do you most admire and why?

I think my favorite fictional social justice hero has got to be OneJustice’s own Michael Winn. I just imagine Mike slipping off into the Canadian woods under the cloak of nightfall, notebook in hand after a hearty steak dinner, looking for injustices he can help to right. (Note: You have to have heard one of Mike’s inspiring speeches to the Justice Bus riders to fully understand that reference.) Seriously, you might consider creating a OneJustice comic book presenting (lightly fictionalized) accounts of real iniquities that the OneJustice team has helped to set right. And in the comics, the OneJustice team could have their own (magical, justice-seeking, flying) bus!

Thank you, Joe, for your years of participation in the Justice Bus Project – we look forward to many more years of working together to bring life-changing legal help to those in need!

Q: Where can you find both crock-pot chefs and avid road cyclists?

A: At OneJustice!

Please extend a warm welcome to our new team members: Fred & Megan

We’re excited to introduce you to the newest members of the OneJustice team! Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Fred Sahakian, Operations Manager, and Megan Kent, our new Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow, who is part of the national Veterans Legal Corps. We would have loved to take pictures of them in their Halloween costumes – but we’ll have to wait until our Halloween party to discover their alternate identities!

We asked them some questions to get to know them better, and we figured you’d like to meet them, too.


So Fred, tell us what drew you to work of OneJustice?

Fred Sahakian

Fred Sahakian, Crock-Pot Cooking Specialist (and our new Operations Manager)

I was very excited about the opportunity to work at OneJustice.  The programs we offer make significant positive impacts in the lives of Californians, and the results can be seen quickly.  I was also interested in being part of an entrepreneurial organization that finds new and improved ways of addressing the challenges of equal justice.

What is your job portfolio at OneJustice?

I will be responsible for our operations management, which includes: our finances, human resources, facilities, and information technology. I have worked in both direct and indirect client services, so I know how important it is to have operations and support working smoothly. I am passionate about policy and administration and hope to help even more Californians in need.

What did you do before coming to OneJustice?

Before coming to OneJustice, most of my career was spent within the New York State Courts.  I began my public service as a paralegal with the Legal Aid Society and worked with law guardians who represented neglected and abused children.  At the same time, I was a union representative, which ignited my passion for public policy and administration.  I decided to pursue a career in government and non-profit management and accepted a position with the New York State Office of Court Administration.  Over the course of 13 years, I worked my way up from an administrative assistant to developing and managing a new innovative department dedicated to improving statewide agency operations.

And not to pry, but tell us something a little quirky about yourself!

I recently discovered crock-pot cooking and am having fun trying new recipes, especially baby back ribs.


And Megan, what led you to the OneJustice Fellowship?

I was drawn to OneJustice because of our commitment to the “Access to Justice” movement. It is critical that our society find innovative ways to address systemic issues that affect low-income and under served populations. All of OneJustice’s programs do just that–both by developing programs to meet unmet legal needs in rural areas and by supporting other non-profit legal services organizations that form part of the “Access to Justice” movement. I am very excited to join such a great organization!

Megan, our new Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, Veterans Corp

Megan, Serious Cyclist & Bike Owner (and our new Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow, Veterans Legal Corps)

Tell us about your position at OneJustice; what will you be working on?

As an Equal Justice Works Americorps Legal Fellow, I’ll be responsible for the Justice Bus Project in Southern California, including a strong focus on bringing  life-changing legal help to veterans in rural areas. I hope to build on the excellent work of my predecessors by continuing to expand the SoCal program while at the same time providing high quality legal services to isolated communities throughout the area.

What was your career path that led to OneJustice?

I graduated from Lewis & Clark law school in May. While in law school, I focused on public interest legal advocacy and impact litigation. I advocated on behalf of farmworkers, worked extensively on impact litigation issues within the field of immigration law, and worked with civil rights attorneys to uphold state and federal civil rights laws. Prior to law school, I served as a social worker and educator to address a myriad of social justice issues. For example, I worked with families at an abuse and neglect prevention and intervention non-profit, and then later advocated on behalf of survivors of human trafficking. I’m thrilled to join the OneJustice team in order to continue to address social justice issues within the legal system!

And tell us something about that you is not work-related!

I am an avid road cyclist, MTN biker, and bike commuter. I own 5 bikes (though I’m a little embarrassed to admit that!). Shoot me an email if you want to go for a ride sometime!

Thanks so much, Fred and Megan – we’re so happy to welcome you to the OneJustice team!

We can’t go back and prevent the violence

But we can help them put their lives back together.

We won’t save everyone.  But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try.

One year ago, Kelsey Williams opened up a brand-new legal clinic in Los Angeles.  Working closely with O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, as well as a group of dedicated legal services nonprofits, she launched the “IMPACT LA” project to offer a free, monthly legal clinic for domestic violence survivors, held at the Jenessee Center (a domestic violence intervention nonprofit) and staffed 100% by pro bono volunteers.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and so we asked Kelsey to share her experience starting and running this new project that provides free assistance to survivors facing pressing legal problems relating to immigration, public benefits, and housing.

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Guest Blogger: Kelsey Williams, Loyola Law School Post-Graduate Public Interest Law Fellow at OneJustice

I have a confession.

Kelsey Williams

Kelsey Williams, Loyola Law School Post-Graduate Public Interest Law Fellow at OneJustice

I was more than a little scared to run the IMPACT LA project. “Terrified” might be a better word. Developing any new program is intimidating, but the domestic violence focus raised the stakes even higher. I worried I wouldn’t do it justice. The learning curve was steep; I wanted the first clinic to be perfect, a seamless experience for our survivors and volunteers. I had to learn quickly and lean on our amazing partner, Jenesse Center.

In the first year of my fellowship, I’ve learned a lot of lessons: to be constantly improving is better than being perfect, and that each day brings another lesson to be learned. One day can be heartbreaking and the next, life affirming. Some lessons come easy –you can never have too many notepads; others, definitely less so– a project like IMPACT LA does not and should not get easier.

The first lesson came not in the office or at the clinic but outside of work. It’s the part of my job I was least prepared for, equivocally. It was the stories.

Lesson one: make no assumptions.

Nothing could prepare me for the most common reaction I get when I explain my work to someone – it’s a story. Maybe it’s about a friend or family member. Usually, it is about the person to whom I’m speaking. And they all start the same way, “you wouldn’t know it from looking at me, but – here’s my story. I’m a survivor.”

“One day can be heartbreaking and the next, life affirming.”

And in the beginning, they were always right. I never would have suspected them to be a survivor of domestic violence. While there is no one type of survivor, I simply didn’t realize just how many people in my personal, professional, and daily life had been impacted by violence in the home.

Of course, just based on the numbers, it’s inevitable that I know someone who has been personally impacted by domestic violence. But statistics are hard to translate into the faces of the people you see everyday. You know them too. Maybe they haven’t shared with you, but they are there. Learning that domestic violence lives among all of us made it more difficult to learn the next lesson.

Lesson two: if you do this work, you won’t save everyone. I can’t, you can’t, but that doesn’t mean we should not try.

The men and women we work with feel the impact of domestic violence long after any physical assault ends. They come to IMPACT LA because they are living with the consequences of abuse.

We worked this year with a woman who left a violent situation more than five years ago who is still untangling legal repercussions and working every day to get things back on track. To restore the future her family should have had until abuse entered their lives. We can’t go back and prevent what happened to her family. But we can try to help her now.

The majority of individuals come in to untangle the legal repercussions of the abuse they have endured. Removed from the violence they are able to regain control of their lives with the help of our volunteers and partners. But, sometimes it’s not enough.

I know now that I can’t save everyone. What I can do is carry the memory of their stories and experiences with me. I hold them in my heart as a reminder and a guide for the hard days.

The more I learn about the reality and prevalence of domestic violence, the more optimistic I become. Our world need not be full of future victims and survivors of domestic violence. IMPACT LA and great projects like Jenesse’s Youth Conversations are trying to bring an end to domestic abuse through education and awareness.

Two IMPACT LA volunteers who staffed the free clinic at the Jenesse Center on Valentine’s Day 2014.

I’m so grateful to all of these survivors who have opened their hearts to me and the strong individuals working with me to end domestic violence. The work that we do with the Jenesse Center at IMPACT LA is important. And we couldn’t do it without our supporters, volunteers, partners, and brave survivors.

Working together, we can save and rebuild lives.

If you or someone you know needs help – please reach out. You can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.


Our most heartfelt gratitude to the amazing staff at the Jenessee Center, our legal services partners, Bet Tzedek Legal ServicesCentral American Resource CenterInner City Law CenterLegal Aid Foundation of Los AngelesLevitt & Quinn Family Law CenterNeighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, and Public Counsel Law Center, and all the dedicated volunteers from, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLPJones DayKilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLPLatham & Watkins LLPManatt, Phelps & Phillips LLPMorgan, Lewis & Bockius LLPMorrison & Foerster LLPNixon Peabody LLPO’Melveny & Myers LLPOrrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLPSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPToyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.White & Case LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP.

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IMPACT LA is part of the national IMPACT (Involving More Pro bono Attorneys in our Community Together) project of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo), which is a series of new collaborations across the country to expand national law firm efforts to increase access to justice.  OneJustice is honored and thrilled to be working together with APBCo on the IMPACT LA Project.

Update: Public & Private Solutions to Providing Legal Aid for Unaccompanied Minors

OneJustice Team:

Wonderful update from Steve Grumm at the ABA on the status of funding efforts and the creation of private/nonprofit partnerships to bring legal assistance to unaccompanied minors. Thank you, Steve!

Originally posted on ABA access to justice blog:


In early August “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made an impassioned plea to U.S. law firms…to free up attorneys to help deal with the surge of Central American children who have entered the country illegally by providing more pro bono representation…  Biden urged lawyers to step up and help deal with a backlog of court cases.”  (Reuters)

Since then, government (on all levels), law firms, and other private-sector actors are reacting to the glut of unaccompanied minors who are being processed through the U.S.’s byzantine immigration system without legal counsel.  Here’s the underlying problem as reported by the Press Democrat:

Border patrol agents picked up more than 66,000 unaccompanied children, most of them from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, along the southern U.S. border between Oct. 1, 2013, and the end of last month. They were turned over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services…

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What’s Happening with LSC Funding During the Congressional Recess?

OneJustice Team:

A great update from the ABA Governmental Affairs Office on the status of federal funding for legal services!

Originally posted on ABA access to justice blog:

An update from Ann Carmichael of the ABA Governmental Affairs Office:

Congress has now passed a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded at current levels through December 11.  We anticipate that the President will sign the CR into law.  In this event LSC will continue to receive its current $365 million level of funding.  Once the Members return after the November elections, they will have to keep the government funded past December 11 (this is most likely going to be another continuing resolution, but amounts and length of the CR are undetermined and difficult to forecast at this point).

The ABA Governmental Affairs Office will closely track developments.

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Hey AmeriCorps – happy birthday!

10 years ago we joined a very special family

We didn’t know it, but 10 years ago, we started what would become a decade-long collaboration with Equal Justice Works.  In the fall of 2004, we welcomed our very first Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow as part of the newly-created Pro Bono Legal Corps – engaging law students in giving back to their communities.

Now, just 10 years later, we have housed 36 Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellows!  Fellows working at OneJustice during this time founded the Justice Bus Project, worked to expand the Justice Bus into Southern California, and have forged innovative delivery systems like virtual pro bono clinics and more.  In recent years, we have also had the great honor of placing Fellows at other legal services organizations, where they have provided life-changing legal help to persons with disabilities, consumers facing scams and debt, and most recently to veterans facing pressing legal problems.  You can check out the timeline of 10 years of amazing Fellows below.

And now, we are thrilled to be part of the national celebration at AmeriCorps turns 20 years old!

So, on this special occasion, a most heartfelt “thank you!” to the 36 talented attorneys who launched their careers as Fellows and to the 10 legal services organizations who have housed and supported so many Fellows.  We are so grateful for 10 years of partnership with Equal Justice Works and their outstanding staff, and we are deeply honored to be part of the national AmeriCorps family as this vitally important national program turns 20.

Happy Birthday AmeriCorps!  And let’s raise a glass to many, many more years of getting things done!


AmeriCorps Infographic



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